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  1. #1
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    Grand Ridge and Horses

    Had a great ride early this morning and was just disgusted by how many craters from horses are all over the trail, especially the new trail area just north of GR Drive. I don't get how the horse groups fit into the WTA, KC, and Evergreen. It seems like most of the groups are on the same page, respect the trails, and work HARD to maintain the trails. Maybe I am missing this, but I don't see the horse groups doing anything except destroying the trails.

    Almost took a big digger this morning around a nice corner as my front wheel buried into to huge holes from a horse. I believe these holes cause safety issues for hikers and bikers - ankle breakers and diggers for bikes. It looked like the horse went off the side of the trail and maybe got spooked, because there are craters all over one spot. Just pisses me off. They can crap anywhere they want and destroy the trails and it seems like it is OK without any repercussion. If MTBR's were trashing trails like this, all hell would break loose. And I won't even talk about dogs crapping on the trails.

    I also walk and run on these trails. There is a ton of traffic and to me, it just doesn't make sense why horses would be allowed on this trail. It is narrow, there are blind spots, and more traffic than I see on any other trail system I ride. What about restricting horses to go North from the Black Nugget trail that comes out just past the north side of the new trail area? There is a lot more traffic on the south side and it sure seems like a safety hazard with all the walkers, runners, bikers, and dogs.

    Rant over, just kills me to see these horses destroying a great new section of trail that everyone worked so hard on. I don't see the logic of horses specifically on GR. Their asses need to be out there fixing the damage their horses are causing.

  2. #2
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    Wow, a bit angry their, Horses have been out there on the trails for many years before mountain bikes. The trails used to be logging and mining roads from years past and the trails were built and maintained by horsey people. Now the trails have been changed to this mythical type of trail in the name of sustainability. Breath deep and relax and remember that the walking rototillers poop green stuff for a reason. You have to have a lot of green to have these animals now. You think bikes are expensive?

  3. #3
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Ponies: Even more reason for subsurface hardening (burying rock) capped with local/native mineral soil.

    As you have seen with our little April corner+reroute rock transport and placement takes tons of materials, and the time of motivated humans.

    That said I agree with "what have ponies done for grand ridge lately?"

    We are hardening the slimiest when wet places one or two per year. Good faith effort adding incremental value.

    The trail is long . 7 miles... (drums)

  4. #4
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    That is what the old trails were made of. Waste materials from coal mining, and ballast from logging roads...

  5. #5
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    So Brother Sven please end your GR boycott and have a look-see and tell us how hoof divits make you feel after your visit.

    We need strong souls like you and respect your voice.

  6. #6
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    Road up Preston this evening. Saw a bunch of hoof holes in the lower section. Lots of poop to avoid also. Not as bad as what I routinely see out at Tokul, but still ... Just part of the sport, I guess.

  7. #7
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    As I mentioned, I don't claim to know the relationship between all of the trail groups and horses. Maybe you can help me understand. I have been riding GR for about 5 years and have never seen or heard anyone from horse groups making an effort on GR. I also don't see any horse trailers lining up to ride GR. I get that they were here long ago, but am trying to make sense of why GR now? There is a small ranch out on Black Nugget and that seems to be the only group of horses to ride GR. Times change and population has dramatically increased in this area. Just because they were here first doesn't seem to be a logical argument to me. MTBR's have lost plenty of trails, but through great groups like Evergreen, we have been able to build new trails and grow. Just trying to find some logic as to why they should be on these trails with the way they are built. I truly believe they are a safety hazard in many ways on GR.

    I walked the GR trails with a big group of family members on Mother's Day and there was a ton of traffic out there with hikers and bikers. Everyone got along well and played nicely. If a few horses were on that trail on Sunday, it would have been dangerous in my opinion.

    I am fine with them being on Soaring Eagle, Tiger, Tokul, and other places because it makes more sense. Although I do feel that there should be a way to separate which trails horses actually belong on. Even Soaring Eagle has better access, more trails, and much less traffic to make it a better spot for horses.

    Not angry, just trying to understand the logic and the double standard. And just a bit frustrated that our great trails are getting destroyed. What makes it right for horses to be able to trash trails and leave poop everywhere? Just because they were here first? If MTBR's trashed all the trails and left litter everywhere, we would be kicked out in short order. If horse groups were instrumental in maintaining these trails, I wouldn't even bring this subject up. There should be some sort of responsibility here.

  8. #8
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    I'm not familiar with Grand Ridge, but I'd be willing to bet the horse groups put in as much trail maintenance time as any other user group. Sometimes we get stuck in our own mtb world and forget to look around.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  9. #9
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgman25 View Post
    ... trying to understand the logic and the double standard. And just a bit frustrated that our great trails are getting destroyed. What makes it right for horses to be able to trash trails and leave poop everywhere? ...If horse groups were instrumental in maintaining these trails, I wouldn't even bring this subject up. There should be some sort of responsibility here.
    I would trade out responsibility with accountability but otherwise :thumbsup!

  10. #10
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I'm not familiar with Grand Ridge, but I'd be willing to bet the horse groups put in as much trail maintenance time as any other user group. Sometimes we get stuck in our own mtb world and forget to look around.
    That's usually true but this is the busiest trail near the densest ;-) population center in this state. Tiger and mt si and rattlesnake are 20-30 minutes in a car beyond.

    Seriously at the sunset exit you can any time park and pedal 20 miles oab to and through duthie. Its way short of the rural areas that attract cowboy music on the local jukebox.

    That said I've been listening to more than my fair share of cowboy music voluntarily.

  11. #11
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    A lot of people have worked on that trail. How do you know none of them have horses?

  12. #12
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    Re: Grand Ridge and Horses

    I love this. You guys ignoring us for working like mad idiots on a little stupid corner to make sure we can climb it when wet but otherwise crickets. .

    We know... prove it otherwise....

    Seriously this is not about individuals who worked its about impact especially on a trail just across from tigers high point put ins and are ponies allowed there? (No)

    Let's stop pointing at who did what and start realizing do we even make sense. Yes if we as a recognized group focus our time on at least one long term improvement or two per year. Evergreen behind WTA so far on county supported effort.

    Your hoofprints here....

  13. #13
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    Multi-use vs restricted-use

    I would suggest you take a moment and look in a mirror.

    For several groups who are active in the area of GR and the larger Issaquah Alps area, you (as well as the rest of the MTB community) are regarded as the no.1 culprit with regards to trail/environmental damage, the no.1 culprit for safety issues out on the trail, the no.1 culprit [Insert compliant here] ...

    While I don't really like to ride trails torn up by hooves and I really, really don't like to ride thru piles of manure, the reality is that if we (the MTB community) start to ***** about other user groups on "multi-use" trails then we are just giving these other groups (primarily the Issaquah Alps) motivation to continue to pursue their complaints against us. I am not trying to be the speech police. But again we (MTB) are seen as public enemy no.1 in this area.

    The reality is that the equestrian community has been able to retain their access to GR, Cougar MT, Squak MT and have access to more trails on Tiger. In comparison, we are completely excluded from Cougar and Squak and while we are making gains in expanding (really restoring) access on Tiger, in my opinion, we really need to be seen as a promoter of a more inclusive definition of "multi-use".

    Horses are becoming an ever rarer site on GR given the economics of owning/maintaining a horse and the fact that there is almost no where to park a vehicle with a horse trailer attached to it. The north lot at Soaring Eagle is one of the few places that can accommodate a vehicle with a horse trailer and not have a lot of traffic nearby to spook a horse.
    The quiver: 2010 Santa Cruz Nomad, 2011 Specialized Demo II, 2011 Canfield Brothers Yelli Screamy.

  14. #14
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    Ok jdusto, that makes a bit more sense and I get your viewpoint. I would stick with 2 main arguments. Safety on this trail with the traffic it has on it and the fact that only 1 main group is even taking horses on the trail (Black Nugget Ranch). I actually know the family, so this is nothing against them personally, or their clients who board horses there.

    What about restrictions to only go north from their input trail? There has to be twice as much traffic on the south side of the trail and much steeper drop offs as well. This isn't an old road like it used to be, it is a skinny trail with a lot of blind corners.

    I could be completely off my rocker here, just trying to get some input. I appreciate the viewpoints.

  15. #15
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    JD, you nailed a key point below. As frustrating as equestrian crap and trail damage can be, it's a dying sport. You don't see many young people on horses, and the costs are prohibitive and getting more so. Horse use on trails will become less and less common.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdusto View Post

    Horses are becoming an ever rarer site on GR given the economics of owning/maintaining a horse and the fact that there is almost no where to park a vehicle with a horse trailer attached to it. The north lot at Soaring Eagle is one of the few places that can accommodate a vehicle with a horse trailer and not have a lot of traffic nearby to spook a horse.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    Wow, a bit angry their, Horses have been out there on the trails for many years before mountain bikes. The trails used to be logging and mining roads from years past and the trails were built and maintained by horsey people. Now the trails have been changed to this mythical type of trail in the name of sustainability. Breath deep and relax and remember that the walking rototillers poop green stuff for a reason. You have to have a lot of green to have these animals now. You think bikes are expensive?
    So because they're rich and have destroyed trails for hundreds of years it's ok? Keep your giant monster away from me on the trail.

    Horses, good for dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    So because they're rich and have destroyed trails for hundreds of years it's ok? Keep your giant monster away from me on the trail, I will NOT dismount, I hope I scare your horse and you fall off and get a head injury. .
    I hope you get flat tires, broken chain and derailleur cable(s)so you never make it out to the trails with a **** head attitude like that. We dont need people attitudes like this F-ing everything up for the rest of us.

    Seem like MTBers can be there own worst enemy some times
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  18. #18
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    Sorry guys, was hoping this would be a civil and constructive conversation. Trying to understand all sides of the issue and hoping there might be a better solution.

  19. #19
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    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have belonged to a horse club for my first 21ys, motorcycle club for 10yrs and have mountain bike for 25 years and have belonged to Issaquah alpers for 1yr. (not all at the same time)

    What is safe, what is right, is an opinion. Our trails at dictated by the political machine that determines who, what, where, and how.

    People with means will control how we ride unless we fight. We lost all of Cougar , most of squak, most of tiger and the list goes on.. Evergreen has fought back with the best of intentions possible. Since the bike trails have changed so much they have little interest to me any more. Example would be Preston, rode it couple weeks ago and it has so much rock that it is not the root, mud and log slog fest I loved. I was nearly in tears on how the trail was killed. Looks like a ADA compliant wheelchair accessible ramp. I understand with Conversations with Dave that this is needed by DNR for the mythical trail sustainability issue.

    I now ride in other areas that are primarily used by horses and by motos since those trails remind me of the type of trails I like.

    As far as GR, the ponies are dwindling and will disappear soon, the walking rototillers do not want to punch holes as its really possible to break the ponies ankle.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbty View Post
    I hope you get flat tires, broken chain and derailleur cable(s)so you never make it out to the trails with a **** head attitude like that. We dont need people attitudes like this F-ing everything up for the rest of us.

    Seem like MTBers can be there own worst enemy some times
    I don't know how you got my original post but I did edit it immediately. I have seen total disregard by equestrians so many times both of trail conditions and of boundaries where horses are not allowed. I've been bitten by horses and had one kick at me despite my being a gentleman. I've got no patience left with those monsters.

    And I've had broken chains and derailleur cables plenty of times. Never seems to stop me getting out, all those years working at bike shops I guess.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    I've been bitten by horses and had one kick at me despite my being a gentleman. I've got no patience left with those monsters.
    Is that really you George? I knew you rode mountain bikes, but thought you were more Texas than Cascadia.

    Issaquah & Seattle real estate agent. Buy or sell a home with me and I donate $500 to Evergreen MTB Alliance
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  22. #22
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    I'm all Alaska. Wont be living down with you folks in the Southeast until August.

  23. #23
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    The trail is open to horses, deal with it. I filled one hole up with rocks, if we all did the same it wouldn't be too bad. See you all on a work party next winter.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_schuldt View Post
    The trail is open to horses, deal with it.
    Dave is right on this, as crabby as he sounds. There are so many trails to ride. Not to give away my secrets, find trails you like. Don't like ponies, go where they don't. Don't like mud and logs go to GR (kidding). I had to abandon most of my traditional trails and have resorted to ride on underground, undisclosable locations.

  25. #25
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    Pick up your poop

    Great points dawgman25, and great thread to all who are civil. Unfortunately, I see it going nowhere, would love it if someone has the vision to make a change. The trail workers on GR get my kudos as perhaps the only ones with credibility to offer opinions here.

    As a former avid hiker, now mt biker, since being a kid, whenever I see trash in the woods, if possible, I pick it up and take it to nearest garbage can. Who hasn't seen a wrapper, been disgusted, cursed the unknown litterbug, picked it up, and continued on to have a great day? I once interrupted a great descent on Suntop to pick up a stick as a tool to flick the horse poop off the trail. These simple acts requires me to take off my pack or get off my bike, make a conscious effort to improve things for all, but it's no big thing.

    What's different about horse riders such that they can ruin trails by usage prior to hardening and pooping with no regard to others? Surely it's a lot more effort to dismount, but they do it all the time. The poop is quite a bit larger and heavier than a candy wrapper, but all it takes is a bit of preparation, a bag and a trowel, and they can take care of their compadre's poop or even their own.

    What is a big thing, is that an entire user group, horse riders, are not ingrained with the mindset to be courteous to other users on multi use trails. Mt bikers as a whole do immense work on trails, if only they could be taught to be courteous (where courteousness is defined by actions more so than speech or a polite smile). I don't think it's possible, so I hope someone can take this thought and think of something creative.

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